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Digital Learning: Addressing Global Education Challenges

March 2020

Due to rapid population expansion, the global education industry faces many challenges, such as a lack of educational infrastructure, funding pressures and shortages of teachers. Information and communication technologies have great potential for industry transformation to achieve high-quality education, and support educational demands. For these reasons, countries are increasingly focusing on educational technologies (ICT4E) and are adopting digital policies.

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Key findings

The education industry is expanding

The education industry is forecast to witness robust growth over the upcoming decade, resulting from rapid expansion in the young population and rising enrolment rates in educational institutions. K-12 education is projected to witness the fastest expansion rates in emerging economies, such as India, China and Turkey. China and the US are set to remain the frontrunners in higher education. In addition, demand for adult and other education is expected to grow, due to an ageing society and rapid technological development.

Global challenges arising in the education industry

Inequalities in education continue to persist, due to a lack of educational infrastructure. Rapid urbanisation is causing overcrowded classes, while schools in rural areas are forced to close. Moreover, a shortage of qualified educators, low public education spending, a lack of educational resources and high dropout rates result in poor academic performance in less developed economies.

Countries increasingly focus on technology to solve educational issues

In the upcoming years, the penetration of internet and digital devices is forecast to soar in advanced as well as developing economies. Increasing ICT access provides vast opportunities for educational institutions to improve educational outcomes. As a result, federal and local governments are increasingly adopting digital policies and supporting schools’ modernisation.

The US leads in ICT adoption in education

In 2014, the US government started to implement nationwide digital learning programmes in order to close the connectivity gap, providing access to high-speed internet and equipping all students with digital devices. E-rate and one-to-one initiatives helped to connect over 46 million pupils, reduced the cost of internet access considerably and increased the use of digital learning in US schools.

Introduction

Scope
Key findings

Expanding Global Education Industry

Global education
China dominates in K-12 education
China and the US: frontrunners in tertiary education
Rising importance of lifelong learning in ageing societies
Asia Pacific leads by number of educational companies
Micro and small educational institutions dominate in the industry…
…while medium and large institutions generate the most revenue
Growing role of private education globally
The proliferation of private education in emerging markets

Global Education Challenges

Low educational attainment in less developed economies
Infrastructural issues faced by educational institutions globally
Higher pupil-teacher ratio in emerging and developing countries
Number of teachers continues to rise due to higher enrolment...
…however, many countries are likely to face a dearth of teachers
Schools face funding pressures (1)
Schools face funding pressures (2)
Rising burden of student debt globally
Education lending: the second largest consumer debt in the US

Increasing Role of ICT

Why is the importance of ICT in education growing?
Internet and digital device usage will soar by 2030
Education technologies transform education industry (1)
Education technologies transform education industry (2)
US schools lead in ICT adoption for digital learning

ICT In Education Supply Chain: Country Analysis

Brazil
China
France
Germany
India
Japan
Russia
UK
US
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